Friday, 1 February 2013

Help for Heroes, St. John's Hospice get Jubilee funds

Morecambe Town Councillors Tricia Heath and Roger Dennison present a cheque for Help for Heroes to Lance Corporal Standring of the Territorial Army (right of the picture) and Private Robertson (a local resident) and member of the Parachute Regiment (left). Photo courtesy Morecambe Town Council
Morecambe Town Council has presented two charities with monies raised during its Jubilee Street Party back in June.

Working with the local community, the Council organised the Street Party on Morecambe's Promemade to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Despite the very poor weather the event was extremely well attended and demonstrated the wonderful community spirit of local people and, say the Council, helped to raise further the profile of Morecambe nationally in a positive manner.

The funds raised from the Party have been divided equally between St. John’s Hospice, Lancaster and Help for Heroes.

"I would like to pay tribute to the large number of local people and community groups who helped to organise the event and make it a success," commented the Chairman of the Town Council, Councillor David Kerr.

"Without their support and many hours of hard work the event would not have been possible.

"On behalf of the residents of the town I would like to thank all members of the UK Armed Forces who work tirelessly on our behalf to keep the country safe and who daily put their own lives in danger to do so and trust that the funds raised will assist the Help for Heroes Charity to continue its excellent supportive work for all service personnel."


Dukes re-runs Hangman History Talk

Due to popular demand, a second talk on England’s longest serving hangman is to take place at The Dukes this February.

Dr Colin Penny’s first talk on William Calcraft on Tuesday 5th February, which coincides with the run of Pierrepoint – The Hangman’s Tale at The Duke, is already fully booked but he is to repeat it on Friday 15th February at 6.00pm.

Dr Penny is the museum manager of the Shire Hall at Lancaster Castle and his talk profiles the notorious Victorian hangman whose public executions drew record crowds between 1829-1874.

• Tickets for the 15th February  talk are free but must be booked in advance by calling The Dukes box office on 01524  598500 or www.dukes-lancaster.org. Pierrepoint – The Hangman’s Tale runs at The Dukes until 23rd February

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Couple threatened with knife in own Morecambe home

Detectives are appealing for information following a robbery at a house in Morecambe.

Around 7.45pm on Monday 29th January, a man called at an address on Scafell Avenue and asked the owners if they wanted to buy a gold ring. When they refused, he made his way into the house and threatened the couple with a knife, demanding £30 for the ring.

The woman gave the man the demanded money - at which point he left the property leaving the ring at the house.

Fortunately the man and woman weren’t injured, but were left shaken by what had happened.

The man was wearing dark clothing and had his face covered.

“This was a terrifying incident for the couple involved and I would appeal to anyone who has any information about it to contact police," says Detective Inspector Gareth Willis.

“In particular if any neighbours saw anybody suspicious hanging around or if this man knocked on their door then I would ask them to come forward.”

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.


Bowlers needed for Happy Mount Park competition

Lancaster City Council is looking for teams to take part in a bowling competition at Happy Mount Park, Morecambe.

The event will take place over three week nights. The initial heats will be on Tuesday 19th March and Wednesday 20th March. The finals will take place on Thursday 21 March.

Each event will run from 6pm to 8.30pm and is open to all bowlers aged 16 and over.

There is an entrance fee of £6 per pair and entry forms are available from Morecambe Town Hall, the kiosk at Happy Mount Park or can be downloaded from www.lancaster.gov.uk/play

For more information call the council's Sport and Play Officers on 01524 582616 or 01524 582641.

Morecambe MP concerned by Infimary cut rumours

MP David Morris
Morecambe MP David Morris is to challenge the Secretary of State for Health on some of the plans for Royal Lancaster Infirmary this week - both announced and rumoured to be under consideration (see news story).

After news reports that Accident and Emergency might close at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Mr Morris contacted the Chief Executive at the University Hospital of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust Jackie Daniel.

While she was not to be drawn on the closure rumours, Ms Daniel told the MP that "Absolutely no decisions about how services may change or be developed have been made and no plans to change services are ‘well advanced’, as quoted... Discussions about how services could be designed and operate and what people want and value most about health services, will help shape these decisions over the next few months."

 This line from the Hospitals was also reiterated in a telephone call Mr Morris had with the Trust to express his concerns.

Mr Morris say he is pleased that there are no plans to close the A&E, and welcomes the Trust's review which aims to improve the services the Trust Provides.

"I believe that our emergency services are vital to our community," he says. "To this end I have also written to Jackie Daniel to express my support for the A&E services and their essential role in the local community and have asked her to keep me updated on the review of hospital services."

Like Lancaster MP Eric Ollerneshaw, Mr Morris says he is also concerned by the loss of vascular services.

"The University Hospital of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust submitted an application to be one of three Regional arterial centres and unfortunately their application was rejected and this decision was withheld on appeal, which is disappointing," he says. "The Trust are currently deciding whether they have legal grounds to appeal and start a judicial review, which is something I ,as the Member of Parliament, cannot intervene in.

"I am concerned however on the impact this decision will have on my constituents and to this end I have tabled a number of questions this week to the Secretary of State for Health, the answers of these will appear on theyworkforyou.org as soon as they have been responded to."

Mr Morris questions are as follows:

• To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of i) the potential travel distance patients will have to make to the new Arterial centres in the North Lancashire and South Cumbria Area, and if these distances fall within the national guidelines of 60 minutes maximum travel, ii) the ability for vascular surgeons to travel to another hospital site to intervene if another operation runs into difficulty.

• To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure the Arterial Centres which are to serve North Lancashire and South Cumbria provide a good strategic and geographical fit for the region

"I remain committed to fully supporting the Hospital Trust on this issue," says the MP "and am in regular contact with the Chief Executive who informs me of any changes in the application process."

The government expects the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust to save five per cent of its annual budget, roughly £12.75m a year, which means it has to carry out more work for less money.

Green Party councillor Jon Barry learned from a hospital source that plans are well advanced to drastically reduce the services at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary after a review in services, which will be put out for consultation. Proposals include turning A&E into a GP-run minor injuries clinic, with serious casesexpected to go to Kendal or Preston; and no intensive care unit.

Moving the Blood Transfusion services to Manchester is also a possibility, which Mr Morris did not comment on specifically. Neither would he be drawn on the proposal by government to sell off Plasma Resources UK, the firm responsible for supplying blood plasma products to the NHS, to a private contractor.

• A Facebook page has been set up to gather support for the RLI: https://www.facebook.com/LancasterSaveOurHospitals

ePetition against the removal of A&E, Maternity and Intensive Care units at Royal Lancaster Infirmary (1330 signatories so far)

Change.org Petition (450 more signatories needed)


Three assaulted after Lancaster house party

Police are appealing for information after three people were assaulted in Lancaster as they walked home from a house party.

Around 1.30am on Sunday 13th January 2013, a group of 12 people, aged between 16 and 20 years old, were walking home along Bowerham Road, when they came across a group of five or six men on the opposite side of the road.

A few words were exchanged between the two groups before a number of men from the smaller group approached the larger group and punched two males and one female.

The group of 12 were from out of the area and aren’t sure exactly where the assault took place, but it is believed the incident probably happened somewhere between the junction of Barton Road/Lentworth Drive and Bowerham Road/Wellington Road.

Fortunately the three people only suffered minor injuries; however police are keen to speak to anyone who has any information.

“I would appeal to anybody who has any information about this incident to contact police,” asks PC Giuseppe Agliolo.

Anybody with any information can contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.

Get up, get active during the February half term holiday

Youngsters in the district are invited to get up, get active and join in the fun with Lancaster City Council this half term holiday.

With more than 40 exciting sports and arts events on offer for young people aged 5 to 16, there's bound to be something for everyone.

Regular favourites are back on the menu this year and include skiing at Pendle Ski Club and a range of wet and dry activity days at Salt Ayre Sports Centre.

New for  2013 is a range of exciting sports activities including a chance to hang out with Morecambe FC,  skate park sessions and a new habitat trail quiz at Happy Mount Park.

The more adventurous might like to treat themselves to a day of extreme sports which includes indoor skydiving, snowboarding, climbing and luging at Chill Factore and Airkix in Manchester.

Lancaster's museums are also offering new  activities including a chance to build your very own Egyptian pyramid.  Find out how mummies are made and meet an archaeologist! (News story here)

Whatever you decide to try this holiday, you’re sure to have lots of fun, make new friends and have a truly memorable experience.

• To find out what activities are running, how much they cost and how to book, simply visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/holidayprogramme or telephone 01524 842493

Copies of the holiday programme are also available from Lancaster and Morecambe Town Hall, Salt Ayre Sports Centre and the council's community pools at Heysham, Carnforth and Hornby.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Mysteries of ancient Egypt revealed at Lancaster City Museum

Photograph courtesy Lancashire County Council
Treasures from the very beginnings of Egyptian history will be on show at Lancaster City Museum from Saturday 2nd February.

'From Egypt's Sands to Northern Hills' features a wide range of stunning artefacts spanning a period of more than 3,000 years, brought together from collections across the north west.

The exhibition focuses on objects relating to everyday life and the afterlife, which was central to the religion of ancient Egypt. All ancient Egyptians, from Pharaohs to farmers, believed in the afterlife and spent their lives preparing for it.

"All of the relics on show were discovered by Professor John Garstang while excavating in Egypt on behalf of Liverpool University between 1900 and 1914," explains Heather Dowler, Lancashire County Council's museum manager at the city museum.

Blackburn-born Garsatng was Professor of Archaeology at Liverpool University from 1907 until 1941 and, in addition to his work in Egypt, also carried out excavations at Roman sites in Britain, Nubia and Northern Syria.

Professor Garstang at work, date unknown. Photograph courtesy Lancashire County Council
"Professor Garstang mainly excavated in cemeteries, which means the objects he retrieved were often of high quality and very well-preserved.

"Among the objects were beautifully decorated vessels, stone statuettes of ordinary soldiers and a very impressive array of wooden masks. Many of these objects are included in this fantastic exhibition."

The exhibition also features a series of free, family-friendly events, including activities for half-term:

Saturday 2 February, 1.30pm to 3.30pm: mark the opening of the exhibition by having a go at making your own Egyptian Mask like those worn by mummified Pharaohs.

*'Pyramid Builder' - Monday 18 February 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm-2.30pm
Build your very own Egyptian Pyramid and discover how these impressive structures were built.

*'Mummy Mayhem' - Tuesday 19 Feb! ruary 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 2.30pm: discover how mummies are made and make your own Egyptian Mummy puppet.

'Cartouche Crazy' - Thursday 21 February 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 2.30pm: discover how to write like an Egyptian. Use hieroglyphics and make your own Egyptian cartouche out of clay.

Meet an Archaeologist' - Friday 22 February 10.30am to 12pm and 1pm to 2.30pm: find out about our Victorian archaeologist's awesome discoveries in Egypt and have a go at becoming an archaeologist yourself!

(This type of session needs to be booked, as it is often oversubscribed. If you are unable to attend once you have booked, please let the museum know so that someone else can fill your place.)

The exhibition was developed with financial support from Renaissance North West, and is the result of a project to develop a better understanding of Professor Garstang's legacy.

Alongside the exhibits, a display of photographs offers a fascinating insight into what life was like on Garstang's expeditions to Egypt before the First World War.


Lancaster City Museum is run by Lancashire County Council on behalf of Lancaster City Council.

• For more information and to book activities, please phone 01524 64637 or email lancastercitymuseum@lancashire.gov.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/acs/sites/museums